Monday, August 29

Under The Pergola column: A Simple Grilled Clam appetizer Impresses Guests

Under The Pergola 
Sharing An Easy Go-To Recipe
When Hosting Guests For the Weekend at the Beach, 
Grilled Clams With Herbs

 Summer is winding down, and this August we are busy entertaining guests and squeezing in the last joys of summer.  In these times, I like to reach for my quick "go-to" recipes, the ones I've tried over and over again knowing they will not disappoint.  Hosting guests for the weekend in our cottage in East Hampton is no easy feat.  It is certainly fun and rewarding but it is important to stay stress-free, keep the food, wine and fun flowing without missing a beat.  One of our reliable appetizer recipes that Randy and I have come to love is our grilled clams with herbs.  It's a perfect dish to make when home from the beach and before dinner, served outside under our pergola.  It's that time of day when everyone is hungry and thirsty, but not quite ready for dinner so a little appetizer or two will do.  We like to make a lemony iced tea, maybe pour a chilled French Rose and nibble on these delectable grilled clams, served with fresh in-season tomatoes and mozzarella and some crusty toasted bread.  The recipe is easy to prepare.  I pick the herbs straight from my patio garden, a cornucopia of fresh oregano, rosemary and basil.  Please enjoy!

Happy Nesting 
XO Tamara

Randy's Grilled Clams 
With Fresh Herbs
2 dozen littleneck clams 
3 TBS butter
3TBS good olive oil
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 TBS chopped rosemary
1 TBS chopped basil
1 TBS chopped oregano
Salt & Pepper to taste 
1 Squeeze of 1/2 lemon

How to prepare:
Before we head to the beach we wash the littleneck clams (locally harvested) really well under cold water to rid of any sand.  We like to shop at Stuart's Seafood Shop in Amagansett to find the freshest clams.  I also like to chop the herbs before we head to the beach (finely), combining with the chopped garlic, and set in the refrigerator.

When back from the beach and ready to serve I toast the herbs, garlic, olive oil and butter in a cast iron pan on medium to low heat, melding all the flavors.  Turn off the flame and add mixture to a large bowl.  Light the grill, place the clams on a very hot grill, close the lid and check often.  In about 5-7 minutes, you will have nicely opened clams and remove them immediately tossing them in the bowl of the herb and butter/olive oil.  Then toss squeeze a half lemon a little bit of pepper and salt to taste (be careful of over salting since the clams are naturally salty), and serve immediately!